Warning: Hurricane Harvey Cyber Scam

We wanted to inform you about a few scams that are circulating following Hurricane Harvey.

It’s a sad reality that cyber-criminals eagerly exploit tragic circumstances in order to take advantage of their targets. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a number of new scams have cropped up, including:

  • An IRS-themed phishing scam that instructs the receiver to download an FBI questionnaire, where once the target clicks the link, their computer is infected with ransomware.
  • Facebook pages and tweets with links to fake charity websites.
  • Scam emails seeking donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Funds, where any donations made are simply kept by the cybercriminal who sent the email.

Keep the following in mind if and when you encounter a potential cyber scam:

  • The IRS will NEVER use email, text messages, or social media to contact you about personal tax issues. If you receive or fall victim to an IRS-themed scam, be sure to report it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.
  • Victims of ransomware schemes should never pay a ransom, as this further encourages the criminals who often they refuse to provide the decryption key even after a ransom is paid. Instead, victims should immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov).
  • If you would like to make a donation in support of the victims of Hurricane Harvey, go directly to the website of the charity of your choice.
  • Always think before you click on any links in emails or texts you receive!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 630-953-4900.